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I-601A Provisional Waiver
Beginning March 4, 2013, certain immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) can apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers before they leave the United States. The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, to apply for a waiver in the United States and before they depart for their immigrant visa interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. The new process is expected to shorten the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members are obtaining immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.
The new provisional unlawful presence waiver process does not change the immigrant visa process. Even if your provisional unlawful presence waiver is approved, you are still required to depart the United States for your immigrant visa interview with a U.S. consular officer abroad.
To be eligible for a provisional unlawful presence waiver you must fulfill ALL of the following conditions:
1) Be 17 years of age or older.
2) Be an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen (not a preference category immigrant who has a visa available). An immediate relative is an individual who is the spouse, child (unmarried and under 21), or parent of a U.S. citizen.
3) Have an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, or Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant.
4) Have a pending immigrant visa case with DOS for the approved immediate relative petition and have paid the DOS immigrant visa processing fee (IV Fee).
5) Be able to demonstrate that refusal of your admission to the United States will cause extreme hardship to your U.S. citizen spouse or parent.
6) Be physically present in the United States to file your application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver and provide biometrics.
7) Not have been scheduled for an immigrant visa interview by DOS before January 3, 2013.
8) Meet all other requirements for the provisional unlawful presence waiver, as detailed in 8 CFR 212.7(e) and the Form I-601A and its instructions.